From the Night Coming Tenderly, Black Series (Gaa-onzikaawan Dibikad Bi-Izhiseg Negaaj, Makadewaag)

From the Night Coming Tenderly, Black Series, 2017

Gelatin silver prints. Courtesy of Carl and Joan Schneider Installation photography by Charlie Edwards, courtesy of the University of Michigan Museum of Art

About the Art

Dawoud Bey
Gichimookomaanakiing, 1953 gaa-ondaadizi

Namanji-ayi’iing ako debani-ayi’iing
Bwaa-izhinikaadeg #1 (Michikan gaye Gitige-waakaa’igan)
Bwaa-izhinikaadeg #18 (Ziibiins gaye Waakaa’igan)
Bwaa-izhinikaadeg #24 (Gichigami Erie-ing)
Bwaa-izhinikaadeg #25 (Gichigami Erie gaye Giizhig)
Gaa-onzikaawan Dibikad Bi-Izhiseg Negaaj, Makadewaag
2017
Waabi-zhooniyaawaaboo mazinaakiziganan
Nimiigwechiwenimaanaanig Carl gaye Joan Schneider

Dawoud Bey ogii-mazinaakizaan Dibikad Bi-Izhiseg Negaaj, Makadewaag Cleveland, Ohio-ing besho gaa-noogishkaawaad Gimooji-Zhaabosewin – zhaabosewinan gaye waakaa’iganan gaa-aabajitoowaad makade-bemaadizijig is apii giimiiwaad ji-dibenindizowaad – jibwaa Zhaaganaashakiing. Bey ominwendaan mazinaakizang ziibiin ge giizhenindang waabanjigaadewinan ge izhiseg Gimooji-Zhaabosewining, dash noogishkang izhi-zaagidawijiwanong Gichigami Erie. Ogii-mazinaakizaanan ge giizhigag aanawi mazinaakiziganiked zhiibingwaag daa-inaagwag gaa-ezhiwebag dibikag, dibishkoo awiiya gimooji-babaami-ayaad dibikaabaminaagwag.

Gaazheninjiged izhinikaadaan o’o izhichigaadewin dibishkoo Langston Hughes-banan izhinikaadaminid naagadaajimowin Bagosendamowin Dinookaanan gaa-ozhibii’ang 1926 (anaami-ayi’iing), mii gaye igo izhi-nisidawendaagwag dibenindizowin:

Bagosendamowinan Dinookaanan
Langston Hughes

Niwii-dazhonike
Endazhi-ombishkaag giizis,
Ditibaabimishimoyaan
Biinish ishkwaa-giizhigak.
Mii dash wii-anwebiyaan
Anaamimitig onaagoshig
Ani-dibikak bishagiishkaak
Ge bishagiishkaanzoyaan—
Mii sa niwii-bagosendaan.

Niwii-dazhonike
Onjishkawitawag giizis,
Ditibaabimishimon!
Biinish miinawaa giizhigak.
Minogwaaman onaagoshing . . .
Bibagimitig ishpigaabawid
Ani-dibikak maakadewaandeg
Ge maakadewaanzoyaan.

Dawoud Bey
United States, born 1953

LEFT TO RIGHT
Untitled #1 (Picket Fence and Farmhouse)
Untitled #18 (Creek and House)
Untitled #24 (At Lake Erie)
Untitled #25 (Lake Erie and Sky)
From the series Night Coming Tenderly, Black
2017
Gelatin silver prints
Courtesy of Carl and Joan Schneider

Dawoud Bey’s series Night Coming Tenderly, Black was made in Cleveland, Ohio, near some of the last stops on the Underground Railroad—a network of secret routes and safe houses used by Black Americans fleeing slavery—before the Canadian border. Waterways figure prominently in Bey’s series as he creates a visual trail of real and imagined views along the Underground Railroad, ultimately ending at the open water at Lake Erie. He photographed the sites during the day but printed his images with muted gray tones to give them a nocturnal feel, as if from the perspective of a person moving furtively along the secret trail at twilight.

The title of this series is borrowed from Langston Hughes’ 1926 poem Dream Variations (below), which likewise expresses a sense of liberation:

Dream Variations
Langston Hughes

To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently
Dark like me—
That is my dream.

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! Whirl! Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening…
A tall, slim tree
Night coming tenderly
Black like me.

About the Exhibit

Future Cache at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

In Andrea Carlson Future Cache, a 40-foot-tall memorial wall towers over visitors, commemorating the Cheboiganing (Burt Lake) Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians who were violently burned from their land in Northern Michigan on October 15, 1900. Written across the walls above and around the memorial, a statement proclaims Anishinaabe rights to the land we stand on: “You are on Anishinaabe Land.”

Visit the exhibit at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

About the Exhibit

Share This Art, Choose Your Platform!